IS THAT A BED-PAN OR HEART ALARM SOUNDING? DECIPHERING IEC 60601-1-8 ALARM SPECIFICATIONAuthor: Dan O’Brien
Company: Mallory Sonalert Products, Inc.
Date Published: 5/3/2007 Conference: Medical Electronics Symposium
In an attempt to harmonize alarm systems in medical equipment, international standard IEC 60601-1-8 (issued in 2003) specifies basic safety and performance requirements for using alarm warning sounds in medical equipment. Topics covered by the specification range from the type of medical condition that should trigger an audible warning sound to the very specific frequency and shape of the audible sound waveform. For medical equipment designers who have previously used simple electronic audible alarms, meeting this comprehensive specification is not an easy task due to the complex requirements and the added development time and cost.
One way to lessen the learning curve with IEC 60601-1-8 is to work with audible alarm suppliers who can assist in deciphering IEC 60601-1-8 and offer potential ideas and solutions. Also, future developments in audible alarm technology will help designers meet this specification with reduced development time and component costs.
Key words: audible alarm, auditory alarm, alarm signal, buzzer, condition priority, IEC 60601-1-8
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